Where I live the nearest Shopping Mall is in Southampton, it is probably small compared to the average US Mall, but I hate it, it is too in your face and crowded with people just walking around carrying bags. I get very bad tempered if I have to spend more than 10 minutes in the place. I prefer out of town stores and smaller independent shops and of course the internet.
My old granny used to say "a bargain is not a bargain if you don't need it" and "you can save even more by not buying it".
If you participate in these sales you are not in the driving seat, and you are behaving like a herd animal being controlled by the retail outlet. It is far better to buy things when you need them and negotiate prices at that point. In the current economic climate every price is negotiable, you don't need to wait for a sale.